How Can I Make My Macbook Fast Again?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by HappyDude20, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. HappyDude20 macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #1
    For the sake of this thread I'll call myself a novice in terms of understand what slows and speeds up my Macbook.

    I've had my White Macbook since December 2006. Today (April 2009) I notice my Mac performing slowly when viewing videos on YouTube or Hulu. Overall I wonder if my Macbook needs some cleaning up in terms of deleting un-used files over the years, etc. or if it's just that the requirements for visiting these websites have gone up.

    I have Comcast Cable so know slow wifi speeds aren't the problem. I think I "defrag'd" my hard drive once, a few months after purchasing my Macbook though honestly don't even know what that does.

    About 4 months ago I upgraded my 80GB Hard Drive to a Western Digital 500 GB @ 5400 RPM.

    My RAM is still at the low factory standard (Standard back in 06) at 1GB. (I'm told I can obviously upgrade my RAM and can purchase it cheaply online though am told my Macbook model will only support up to 3.3GB of usable RAM)

    I'm not too sure of the other specifications on my Mac, as I haven't fiddled with any of it, though will reply the answers if deemed important.

    Aside from upgrading to 3.3GB of RAM from my mesely 1GB, what can I do (RIGHT NOW) to improve the performance of my Macbook?

    Simply put, I'm tired of watching 24 on Hulu and right during the action scene the screen will lag for a second or two and I'll miss the bad guy getting shot. Or when writing an essay or editing photos within iPhoto I need to wait that millisecond longer for the computer to run it's task...as opposed to when I first got the Macbook and everything worked effortlessly.:apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple:apple::apple:
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    More RAM will help. Your hard drive defrags itself, so don't worry about it. To find out if you are hitting a wall with RAM, go to Activity Monitor and if the memory disk is mostly yellow and red when watching hulu or youtube, you are short of memory.
     
  3. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #3
    I'm in Activity Monitor, what should I be under? CPU, System Memory, Disc Activity or Disc Usage?
    Nevertheless took photos of all...

    http://picasaweb.google.com/MiltonEli/DropBox#
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #4
    I'd say its time for a memory upgrade. 2GB minimum.
     
  5. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #5
    I hear ya on the upgrade. I know many reputable sites online have 4GB for under $40, while my mac will utilize up to 3.3GB

    However, aside from the RAM upgrade.............

    What can I do?

    Perhaps it's just my old PC Windows mind but aren't there a bunch of files collecting dust over the years I can delete, and etc.?
     
  6. Sorkvild macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    #6
    Definitely your PC mind! :p

    Theres really not much you can do aside from keeping tabs on the stuff you download... but I mean even if you download lots of stuff that won't slow your computer down. Really the only thing on macs that can get a little wacky are the permissions and even then they rarely cause slowdowns. To repair permission use Disk Utility in the Utilities folder in the Application folder.

    Maxing your RAM out will result in much improved performance.
     
  7. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #7
    How did you move your data (if at all) from the old drive to the new drive?
     
  8. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #8
    Okay, thanks I'll try that out... I remember being able to get to Disk Utility, but how do I max out my RAM?

    I have to be honest, I have no clue what you're talking about. Oh, do you mean, like how I got everything from my old 80GB HD to my new 500HD, i.e. Leopard, music, movies, documents, applications...etc?

    ...If so, then I used the free application "SuperDuper!"
     
  9. MacAficionado macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    An awesome place
    #9
    Delete your Caches folder.

    Delete your Caches folder.

    Go to:

    Macintosh HD>Users>Home(your name usually)>Library>Caches. Trash everything there, it will be fine. You may have to log out and empty trash again, but it should work once you log out and in, or restart the Mac. Also go to your account preferences and get anything out of the login items you don't need running all the time.

    Hope this helps
     
  10. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #10
    Awesome. I'm deleting everything from my "Home" folder now...would it be wise to delete from the Caches folder located right under my "Mac HD?"

    Aside from this, anything I can do to help my MAcbook out??
     
  11. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #11
    Safari caches are not stored in the Caches folder, so you may want to defrag the Safari cache, or you can just go into Safari, and do Safari->Empty Cache. and see if fragmented cache was part of the slowness.
     
  12. Glameow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    #12
    Unless OS X uses extremely big and badly managed caches, I fail to see how that would solve the problem. Even your CPU uses a cache. They are there for a good reason and if implemented properly actually speed things up. Is it a well known trick to delete them? Has it been measured or is it just hearsay?

    I think the OP needs more RAM primarily, but also check that there are no apps running in the background to cause these issues.

    My computer slows down when I have too many apps running. In the meantime, you could look into the paging file and see if that can be increased (I've never tried on my Mac but it can be useful in Windows I believe).


    Another thing, if you are streaming online content, not only does your connection and computer need to be fast enough, but so does that of the site serving it. Experiment with video on other sites and see what happens.
     
  13. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #13
    OSX swap (paging) files grow and shrink as needed.
     
  14. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #14
    Are you running the Safari 4 beta? I've noticed a decrease in flash performance and various flash issues with it.
     
  15. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

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    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Washington D.C. Area
    #15
    You could try running Onyx to help with the slowdowns. I think however that part of the reason why your computer is running so slowly is because of the lack of ram. Buying additional ram will help tremendously for sure.
     
  16. dantherevelator macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    #16
    Get more RAM. Doing anything else is playing tiddlywinks.
     
  17. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    USA
    #17
    How much of your 500 GB hard drive capacity do you have left as free space?
     
  18. dantherevelator macrumors regular

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    Oct 8, 2007
    #18
    The screenshots indicate about 3/4 of the drive is still free.
     
  19. latogoga macrumors member

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #19
    try using an application called MainMenu, it will help you to keep your Mac clean and delete caches, etc. Also, try reseting your PRAM I don't remember quite well how to do it, but it will give you a little speed boost.
     
  20. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #20
    MainMenu now appears to be abandonware as it has not been updated in over a year. Most of the functions it performs are done by OSX in the background anyway.
     
  21. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

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    #21
    ok... to answer the questions:

    1. I don't use Safari, not really. I have the latest version but yeah, i'd say once a week i'll use Safari. Firefox for me baby.

    2. 500GB has like 350Gb of free space still.

    3....yeah.
     
  22. bcoffey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    arkansas
    #22
    problem solved?

    Hi, I was wondering if you ever got any thing REALLY fixed with your sluggish macbook issue? I have a macbook pro and I am having the same problem, although mainly when using photoshop. I just need some quick easy fixes for freeing up some HD space and i'm not sure what I can safely delete (aside from music and pics) ! Any advice? Thanks!
     
  23. TheShinyMac macrumors 6502a

    TheShinyMac

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    Apr 3, 2009
  24. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #24
    This thread was when i had my whitebook. I did get it to speed up big time but upgrading the RAM from 1GB to 3.3GB's.

    Most of the time I always had at least 1GB free when I had installed 3.3GB's. It was only when using Photoshop that i'd have only 512mb+ or so free/inactive.
     

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